QUARANTINE TIME MAXIMIZED: SHOW YOUR RESUME SOME LOVE

If you’re in California, you likely have a few more weeks of Safer at Home living. Regardless of how much quarantine time you have left, we want our tribe to also be Sane at Home, so that you can emerge from phase 1 of this pandemic with confidence and optimism.

We get it. The current situation has left us all a little Corona cranky and frazzled at times.  Until we can roam free, we’ll be offering up suggestions for using a fraction of your valuable quarantine time to your best advantage. A little bit of investment here can go a long way in decreasing your stress level and increasing your feeling of being in control.

First up … your resume.

Whether you plan on pursuing another professional opportunity or not, having a current and powerful resume is always smart.  So often, resumes “sit” like that easily neglected, dry, withering houseplant in the corner that doesn’t get much attention until it’s almost dead. And then, when someone realizes it’s starving, just a little bit of water and TLC miraculously brings it back to life. Same with resumes. They just need a little feeding now and then to stay alive.

Has it been a while since you “fed” the document that is most critical to your professional life? No problem. Whether it just needs a simple watering or a complete replanting, now is a perfect time to reflect on all your amazing accomplishments and get them integrated into your resume.

Why don’t most of us invest in maintaining this precious asset? “Because it takes so much time!” and “It’s so hard” are two common responses. But much like being ordered to stay home … it’s really not that difficult and doesn’t demand much time in the grand scheme of things. Plus, the return on investment is incredible! And, if you haven’t updated in a while, you’ll be amazed at just how much you have accomplished.

In a nutshell, don’t social distance yourself from your resume. Instead of six feet, make it a practice to revisit it every six months. Investing a just few minutes twice a year will ensure that it is fresh, vibrant and alive any time you need it.

Need some guidance? Based on our experience reviewing thousands of resumes, here is some insight into what makes for a powerful resume as you rise into the senior and executive ranks of local government.

FAQs

 How far back should I go?

  • While some resume experts advise to only include the last 10 years of employment, we believe resumes tell a story and our clients are interested in your entire Take up more real estate with your more recent and meatier jobs and less with older or less relevant positions.

We’re guessing you’ve had a pretty interesting life and we’re interested in learning about your story when it comes to being considered for high-level positions.

How long should it be?

  • Generally speaking, allowing a page per decade of experience is a good guideline.
  • Got gaps in your history? Be truthful and include any work you did (interim, freelance, temp, volunteer) during that time.

What information about my work history should I include?

  • For each position, list job title, name of the organization or company, and dates you held that position.
  • Under each position, describe your scope of authority/responsibility including # of staff and budget info. Equally as important, bullet your major accomplishments and contributions for your most recent jobs.
  • Include association memberships and leadership positions, and other professional and personal passions if they are professionally relevant.
  • The URL to your LinkedIn profile is helpful because the hiring entity will look. Always. So, make sure your profile is current and matches your resume.

What about tone and customization?

  • When tidying up your resume for a specific position, take a few minutes to align the language with the job you are applying for. You may even have more than one resume, depending on the target position or profession and the skills you want to highlight.
  • Use an active voice and active verbs (managed, built, created, developed, introduced, launched, etc.). Stumped for an appropriate verb? Google “active resume verbs” for hundreds of ideas.
  • Use objective adjectives and use them sparingly. For example, it could be your opinion that your program was “extremely successful,” but it is objective to say that your program was the “first of its kind at XYZ Agency.”
  • Identify the key job qualifications and skills and be certain to use those same terms. If you use “oversaw” and the targeted position uses “managed,” the initial screening may not identify you as a match.

What is the best presentation?

  • Simple, clear, crisp and error free.
  • Always proofread. Ask at least two other people to proofread, as well. Never rely on spell check, auto correct or your recruiter to catch typos.
  • Use headings, bullets and indentations for readability.
  • Recommended fonts: A Sans serif type, such as Arial or Helvetica, and 11 or 12 point type for body copy. For headings, go one size larger and use bold.
  • Use boxes or lines to call attention to your special skills and experience. Don’t use color to highlight, in case your resume is copied in black and white.
  • Submit your resume as a .pdf file, so it is appropriate for both electronic submission and hard copy.

As a professional in your industry your network might run deep and wide. However, an effective resume is still critical to your success.

Ace That Video Interview!

By Senior Recruiter Tina White

As organizations adjust their norms for the health and safety of their employees and communities in light of coronavirus, they are revisiting how they conduct candidate interviews. In some cases, they will conduct virtual (online) interviews, using services such as Zoom or Skype.  We don’t know if this will result in permanent change, but we want to make sure that you are prepared for the shift (even if it’s temporary) to phone and/or video interviews

Rest assured, we want to keep hiring world-class talent and we understand that adaptation is key.

TBC encourages you to prepare for a “virtual” interview in much the same way you would prepare for an in-person interview, with a few extra steps.

Set up and test your technology.

Whether your interview will be conducted using Skype, Zoom or some other video conferencing service, it is important to test your technology to ensure that you’re set up for success.

First, be certain to use the correct technology.

A desktop computer with a camera built into the monitor is best. A laptop with a camera is second best. Please do not try to use your cell phone to interview for a career-changing position.

Be sure to check your internet connectivity and confirm that your camera and microphone are working.  Make sure your signal strength is strong.  If it is not strong enough to be reliable, you may want to consider moving to another part of your house for a stronger signal. If you have the option to be connected via a wired ethernet connection (versus Wi-Fi), that would be preferable.

If you haven’t used videoconferencing tools before, don’t worry. They are very reliable. Before your interview, ask a friend to participate in a test run with you from their home computer. Even if you’ve done a video interview or webinar at work, remember that it’s going to be different at home. Make sure you can be heard clearly over your microphone. Familiarize yourself with the service, including how to mute/unmute the microphone and how to change the screen settings so that you are able to see the entire panel of interviewers in a line or grid of squares. It pays to take the time to be comfortable with the technology. You will be better prepared to respond to the interviewers, and the panel will see a candidate who is nimble and flexible.

Set up your space and minimize distractions.

Where should you be for the interview?

The space should be clean, quiet and well-lit. Ideally, find a room with great lighting, perhaps near a window. Having a blank or quiet wall as your backdrop can guarantee that you are the focal point of the conversation. When you do your test run, be sure to look at the background behind you. Is there a pile of laundry in the corner? A messy stack of papers or books that is visible? A very busy wallpaper or painting? Be certain your space is clear of such things.

Prior to the interview time, turn off the TV. Silence your cell phone. Close windows (and doors if you can). Keep pets in another room. If you frequently have packages delivered, you might consider leaving a note on your front door asking people not to ring the doorbell. Some pups really like barking when the doorbell goes off!

Some of this may be harder to orchestrate when your spouse or partner is working from home and school has been canceled for your children. Properly preparing them may be as important as preparing yourself.

Dress for the part.

Dress just as you would for an in-person interview and bring your A-game. Your appearance matters! You will feel more confident and perform better during the interview if you are dressed professionally.

What you wear may show up differently on video, so you might want to avoid patterns, bright colors or big jewelry. If you wear a solid color blazer that creates contrast with your background, it can help the interviewer’s eyes gravitate to you and stay focused on you during the interview.  Also, be sure that your bottom half matches your upper half, in case you must get up during the interview. In other words, yes, please do wear bottoms – but not pajama bottoms!

Have your reference materials ready.

Print out a copy of your resume. Have it in front of you, along with any notes that you’ve prepared. You don’t want to read your answers, so bullet point prompts or talking points are best.

Create connection.

Practice and watch your body language. You can’t shake your interviewer’s hand, but you can sit up straight, smile and keep the camera at eye level.  Be certain to greet everyone in the room that you can see.

If you keep your focus on the *camera* when you are talking (not on the image of the person interviewing you), then you will be making eye contact and this will help create connection.

At the conclusion of the interview, behave just as you would if you were in the room.

Again, thank and acknowledge everyone. Do not be the first to hang up unless you are instructed to do so (just as you wouldn’t be the first to stand if you were all in the room together).

Follow up.

Follow up on a virtual interview the same way you would an in-person interview. A handwritten and mailed thank you note to each panelist is always a welcome gesture. An email is also acceptable.

Now, wait for the phone call from TBC or your target agency, letting you know that you’re a finalist for that coveted position! As always, the team at TBC will continue to provide stellar support throughout the recruitment process by keeping you informed.  You got this!

STELLAR TALENT: Burlingame Appoints New Human Resources Director

The City of Burlingame welcomes Sonya Morrison as its new Human Resources Director. Appointed after a nationwide search, Sonya brings a broad range of experience in both administration and human resources to her new position.

Sonya served most recently as Senior Human Resources Analyst in the City of San Mateo, where she was responsible for a variety of employee and labor relations functions. She has nearly a decade of experience in positions throughout San Mateo County and the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and has developed a wide local government skill set in working with employees and labor groups, as well as in management of human resources and administrative services.

Sonya holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from San Jose State University, and a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Geography and English from James Cook University, Cairns, Australia. She is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) by HR Certification Institute and a CALPELRA Labor Relations Masters (CLRM) and has completed advanced training from a variety of institutions, including the Executive Development Program from the Bay Area Social Services Consortium (BASSC) at Berkeley University.

Congratulations Sonya!!

STELLAR TALENT: Long Beach has a new Director of Economic & Property Development

No better way to finish 2016 and ring in the new year…John Keisler is the new Director of Economic & Property Development in Long Beach, CA. John has been with the city for more than 11 years and has served in a variety of management positions for nearly a decade. City Manager Patrick H. West stated, “John is a proven, dynamic and innovative leader who will help improve Long Beach’s economic vitality.”

According to TB&Co. CEO Teri Black, he already has a jumpstart on making an even bigger difference in Long Beach. Since May 2015, John has served as the city’s Innovation Team Director. Previously, he served as CFO for the Long Beach Police Department as was the Business Operations Manager for the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine before then. John has a reputation for taking on challenging situations and transforming them into high performing operations. Teri added, “John is one of those rare individuals you meet and, in the first few minutes, you just know they will be a rock star someday.” Having had her eye on this fellow Trojan for many years, Teri and her team were delighted to have been part of his career path as he steps into the leagues of executive management.

John holds an MPA from the University of Southern California and Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Religion from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. #fighton

STELLAR TALENT: Carlsbad Names New Economic Development Manager

The City of Carlsbad has selected Christie Marcella to serve as its new Economic Development Manager. Christie was chosen to lead the city’s economic development efforts after a robust recruitment that drew a large pool of qualified applicants from throughout the western United States. Her passion for innovation and relentless spirit of public service, along with her varied experience in economic development and related areas were overwhelming factors in her appointment. In addition, Christie’s impressive academic credentials include a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University and a Master’s in Urban Planning from Columbia University.

STELLAR TALENT: Metro Fire Attracts Talent from Phoenix – Welcome Chief Harms

The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Board of Directors recently swore-in Todd Harms as their new Fire Chief. TB&Co. was proud to represent the Board in the recruitment and selection of the district’s sixth fire chief. Chief Harms succeeds Chief Mark Wells who retired after 29 years of distinguished public safety service.

Chief Harms comes to California from the Phoenix Fire Department (PFD) where he rose to Deputy Chief of Special Operations. He has also been an Urban Search and Rescue team member, with deployments to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. After starting his career in Peotone, Illinois, Chief Harms invested 29 years of his career with PFD. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fire Service Management.

“I am truly honored to have this opportunity to lead Metro Fire,” said Harms. “I look forward to continually finding ways to improve our service delivery, showing the communities we serve that Metro Fire is here every day of the year to solve their problems.” Senior Recruiter and retired Mountain View Fire Chief Bradley Wardle observed, “I was increasingly impressed with Chief Harms’ operations and business acumen. It was also very apparent that he maintained a close connection to the rank and file perspective which was an important leadership quality we were seeking.”

STELLAR TALENT: Murrieta names new Administrative Services Director

Last week, the City of Murrieta, California announced its selection of Linda Le to serve as the City’s new Administrative Services Director. Linda currently serves as the Assistant Treasurer-Tax Collector/Chief Operations Officer for the Ventura County Treasurer-Tax Collector. Overseeing a staff of 40, she is presently responsible for the day-to-day activities of audit management, tax collections of $1.4 billion, treasury management of $5 billion and an investment portfolio of $2 billion. In addition to numerous certifications that include CCMT and CPFA, she holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration from California Lutheran University and a Bachelor’s degree from California State University Long Beach in Applied Research Psychology. In her “spare time,” Linda serves as an Adjunct Professor in Cal Lutheran’s Public Policy & Administration graduate program.

In Murrieta, Linda will oversee the City’s Finance, Human Resources and IT divisions. In response to the news, TB&Co. CEO Teri Black commented, “We were thrilled to discover Linda during this search as she has impressive breadth as well as technical expertise. Her energy level and “can do” spirit are perfect for Murrieta!”

POWERFUL RESULTS: Congrats to new Lakewood, CO Police Chief Dan McCasky

The holiday weekend seems like an ideal time to get caught up on our recent placement news. Yep – we’ve been so busy with our recruitments that we haven’t had time to celebrate our client and candidate successes. So, we’ll start with Lakewood Colorado’s recently named Police Chief. Dan McCasky is a 30-year veteran of the nationally accredited Lakewood Police Department (LPD) and served as Interim Police Chief for five months prior to his promotion in October. Prior to serving in the interim chief capacity, Chief McCasky served as division chief of Patrol.

Upon making the announcement City Manager Kathy Hodgson stated, “He brings the experience, depth of knowledge and leadership qualities respected by his co-workers, peers and other agencies. Dan is a natural communicator who brings people together.” Impressed by the outstanding level of professionalism across LPD, TB&Co. CEO Teri Black added, “Dan is also extremely involved with and committed to the community. His relationships and involvement reflect the depth of extensive partnerships the department never takes for granted. While we had impressive talent in the candidate pool, Dan is a gifted leader who has a great deal to contribute.”

Chief McCasky has a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Colorado and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Northern Colorado.

Why be Redwood City’s Next City Manager? Top 10 Reasons

City of Redwood City, California

Right now we have the privilege of representing the City of Redwood City in the search for its next City Manager. The current Manager, Bob Bell, has been generous enough to share his thoughts about his tenure and what a profound affect this special community has had on him both professionally as well as personally. You can find his Reflections here: http://bit.ly/1JSoG5T

Obviously, we are totally biased, but we think it’s important for you to know the Top 10 Reasons we think you should want to be the next CM in Redwood City:

  1. RWC maintains rare community connections that are meaningful & make a difference.
  2. A great local culture with incomparable energy and buzz.
  3. A constant celebration of the City’s incredible diversity.
  4. A vibrant downtown area with world-class entertainment and dining.
  5. Thriving local art community, including regular art exhibits at City Hall.
  6. An increasingly popular location for high tech, plus Stanford is expanding here!
  7. An outgoing City Manager who really loves his job!  Really.
  8. A competitive compensation package.
  9. A City Council and community that value the importance of the City Manager role.
  10. Last but not least, one of the best executive teams in the business. Seriously.

There are many more reasons to want to serve in this dynamic and diverse city. Consider these Top 10 as an easy place to start. 424.296.3111 for more info.

8 Traits of Successful & Happy Leaders

8 Traits of Successful & Happy Leaders

Over the course of the last 15 years, I’ve worked with hundreds of successful leaders and interviewed thousands of executives for leadership positions in government. The people who resonate with me and my clients most are those who are both successful and happy. These people figured out how to be the most effective at the helm of their careers and in managing their personal lives. What do they all have in common?

Here are the eight common traits I have consistently observed in this group of people:

  1. Always stepping out of their comfort zone. As a means to constantly develop more confidence, they are constantly learning new things and taking on new challenges. Their desire to push their own boundaries inspires others around them to do the same.

2. Work super smart (and hard). Emphasis on “smart” meaning their time is thoughtfully invested in the things that they absolutely have to be doing and no one else can do. These are often considered the highest level income generating activities in the business world and high level policy and strategic work in the public sector. Working smart often entails structure which keeps them focused and disciplined about the highest and best use of their time.

3. Learning never stops. An intense hunger for knowledge and information excites them, fuels their passion and humbles them because they can never know enough. They are fascinated by what they don’t know.

4. Constant quest for improvement.  The ongoing pursuit of making something or someone better, stronger or more efficient energizes the mind and satisfies the heart. This applies to their personal life as much as it does their business.

5. They are present and get the most out of each moment. I’ve noticed that those who are more present also tend to be mindful and grateful. This mindset actually also helps them to be great visionaries. They respect and learn from the past rather than get hung up on it.

6. Recognize the importance of compound decision making. Success in anything is manifested from a series of smaller decisions. In order to avoid becoming overwhelmed or actions that don’t advance personal and/or organizational goals, they remember that it’s the little decisions that cumulatively lead to major achievements and help to keep the spark in their momentum.

7. Practice good self-care. What we entrepreneurs are often bad at and it’s the one area that could likely help us (and those around us!) the most. It turns out that this special population insists upon making room in their schedule to care for themselves and view this as a non-negotiable priority if they are to achieve and sustain peak performance. Beyond basic exercise, many of them also make room for meditation and/or designated time and space to think, create and innovate.

8. Integration of professional and personal life. In this 24/7 all-access tech oriented culture we have become accustomed to, they accept that that their professional life will sometimes bleed into their personal space and they are okay with it. Releasing the expectation of always having bright lines between personal and professional reduces the stress and helps manage the expectations of those around them. By structuring a healthy level of integration between the two in ways that work for them, having a bit of “grey area” in their boundaries actually reduces stress and allows them to participate deeper in all areas.

Permission to reprint granted so long as article is published in its entirety and author is credited with the following:

Teri Black, President/CEO of Teri Black & Company, LLC, aLos Angeles-based executive search firm dedicated to serving the public sector.

Teri Black is a lifelong student of high performance and success and is President/CEO of a Los Angeles-based executive search firm dedicated to serving the public sector.  Teri Black & Company, LLC has recruited hundreds of local government executives for communities across the western United States.

Copyright © 2015 Teri Black & Company, LLC. All rights reserved.  For more information, please Contact Us.  Don’t forget to sign-up for TBC updates; connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!