CRC 12-Point Candidate Inventory Checklist

1. Life Inventory Check

As you begin the process to assess career opportunities, it is vital to do a full assessment of all aspects of your life. It is a time of reflection. Unless you are in dire straits, you should seek career opportunities that will address your personal, family and career aspirations. Assessment should include:

  • Personal Priorities
  • Family Commitments
  • Life Style
  • Skill Sets
  • Role/Project Enjoyment
  • Career Accomplishments
  • Industry Assessment
  • Management Styles

2. Building Your Brand

Your professional brand is more than just a statement. It is the essence of who you are in your work life and how your professional audience identifies you. These groups include clients, customers, colleagues, management, reports, vendors and, at times, the general public.

International branding strategist Robin Fisher Roffer, author of Make a Name for Yourself, offers several steps to developing your brand:

  • Identify the primary “product” (service, resource, special ability, etc.) you have to offer others.
  • Identify your core values. What really matters to you?
  • Identify your passions. What things or ideas do you love?
  • Identify your talents. What have you always been recognized for (particularly as a kid)? What do you do better than most other people? What skills do people seem to notice in you?
  • From your hopefully long list of talents and qualities, choose the top five, the ones you do best and enjoy doing the most.
  • Weave the items on all your lists into a statement of your specialty. What are you particularly gifted at delivering?
  • Write a paragraph emphasizing your specialty and your five key talents, weaving in your most important values, passions and skills.

3. Resume Design

The purpose of the resume is to get the interview. It must attempt to answer how you can be a solution to the company’s specific concern. A resume will not get you the job. So don’t try. The resume must be easy to read and even easier to uncover the main reasons why someone should hire you. Don’t bury your accomplishments in the body of work experience. Prominently and early, share your value and accomplishments.

A resume must:

  • Provide a solution to their hiring need (See below)
  • Give the reader reason to keep reading
  • Provide quick overview
  • Provide granular detail
  • Give the hiring authority compelling reasons to speak with you
  • Look professional. The resume should be a reflection of you. If you get the interview, you better look just as professional as your resume did.

Companies hire to address an immediate need or concern. The 3 major corporate concerns are:

  • Revenue Generation
  • Expense Reduction
  • Efficiency Increase

4. Candidate Snapshot

The “Candidate Snapshot” is a proprietary tool we designed to add value to the candidate process. This is a tremendous adjunct to your resume when candidate presentation occurs. You provide guided insight to questions that hiring authorities have as well as address potential concerns that could de-rail the interview process. We have been given high praise by client companies for this informational tool.

5. Interview Preparation

Congratulations! You are now in the game. The Interview is a time to present ‘You’ in the best possible light. In addition, it is a time to learn more about the opportunity.

Preparation is the key component to a successful interview. Do your homework. Review their website, read public financial reports and view YouTube product demos. We will help you prepare for interviews with additional information. A good executive interview should be engaging. It should be a dialogue. It should be a process of sharing your strengths while also learning and understanding more about the role, expectations, the company and its vision.

Be at the top of your game on Game Day. Be courteous, polite, and engaging!  Take notes where required (it shows interest and a level of competency).  Do not shy away from asking questions yourself.  You should have 10-15 probing and pertinent questions ready.  If interested in the role, TELL THE INTERVIEWER. Then ask what the next step in the process would look like.

Always, always, always send Thank You notes out to your interviewers sooner than later. We suggest that you email these notes to get them there is a timely manner. Also, individualize these messages. Be concise and brief. We help guide you through this process.

6. Reference Choices

Choose your references wisely.  You should have 8-10 references available upon request.  When the time comes to provide references, you can then choose the best 5 for the specific role.  Not every reference will be best for every reference check.

It is important to select references that will be able to offer information regarding different aspects of your career.  Nothing is worse than providing 5 of the ‘same’. Employers use references to get a better and more rounded picture of your work experience and your Professional Brand.  Do not provide personal references unless specifically asked.  They want third person observations regarding key components of work life.

7. Building your Skill Sets

It is extremely important in this competitive landscape to continually build one’s skill sets and continue to grow. Processes are ever improving!  Better techniques keep evolving!  It is never too late to learn more in your life, both personally and professionally.  Classes to add technical expertise are always important.  Forums to better one’s interpersonal skills can also prove quite helpful.

Before you can begin growing your talents, determine which skills are most important to your career growth and which will help get you where you want to go. Judgment and decision-making, problem solving, active learning and reading comprehension will always serve as foundational and transferable skills that are valuable in any context. As career information expert Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D explains, these soft skills are harder to automate.

8. Efficient Networking

An incredibly underutilized tool in the job search process is… Networking

There are keys to successful networking, both socially and professionally.  The use of specific websites can prove invaluable.  The utilization of LinkedIn must be incorporated into your job search efforts.  We show you how to best utilize this powerful tool, both passively and proactively.  Recruiters and hiring authorities are continually searching this site for specific talent.

Seminars, professional association meetings, alumni events and online think tank forums are all great ways to stay connected and make new acquaintances.  Think of everyone as potentially a part of your network.  The reality is that we are all connected in this world already…most of us just don’t know it.

Come from a place of genuine interest when joining associations and groups.  See the long-term value of such relationships.

9. Job Search

The Job Search has been one of the most transformative processes over the years.  The internet has affected every aspect of the Job Search. Some of the best search engines include:

Employment technology has now evolved into Job Opportunity Notifications. These personal notifications can be set up as texts or emails specific to you.  It is simply amazing.  This tool can be the difference between getting the job and not even knowing about the job opportunity.

10. Hidden Job Market

Companies identify talented individuals in two ways:

  • Through a concerted and deliberate marketing effort that includes the use of print advertising, internet advertisements (job boards) and recruiting efforts.
  • In an opportunistic fashion — when good talent is presented to them at the right time. This is THE HIDDEN JOB MARKET. Good companies will always look to hire exceptional talent opportunistically. These opportunities are not formal searches. Talent can:
  • Come through referrals – Often provided internally.
  • Come through recruiters – Creating new relationships by introducing strong candidates.
  • Knock personally – Proactive job seekers that market themselves intelligently. This is where you can ABSOLUTELY help yourself!

Identifying the Hidden Job Market is one of the most dynamic means to finding a job. It is the place where many talented recruiters go when they feel they have identified a strong candidate that can open doors.

11. Assessing the Offer

Congratulations, you have received an Offer!  It is important to analyze an offer in its totality.  There are many different components to an offer.  The obvious include salary, bonus/commission, duties, health and retirement benefits, and title.  The less obvious include guarantees and equity.  And even more nebulous is the track for advancement and likelihood for success.  We certainly cannot tell you what is most important for you and your particular circumstance.  But do not let an initial salary be the only variable you focus on.

We offer in-depth discussion points that MUST be considered when contemplating an offer acceptance.

12. Resignation

The Resignation is a necessary component to complete the process.  It can often create angst but does not need to be viewed negatively.  Your resignation should stay very much on point.  The letter should also be short and concise.  Do not offer your reasons for the resignation in writing. And DO NOT BURN BRIDGES! It is a small corporate world.

One of the first questions from your supervisor will be “Why?”  DO NOT make it personal.  Let him/her know that you have received a wonderful opportunity to further your career.  “It’s nothing personal.  I found it was just time for a change.”

Understand that if you are a coveted employee, your current firm will often try to change your mind.  Be very careful when considering and accepting a counter offer to remain with your current firm.  Very often, those that accept a counteroffer later choose to leave as they realize that nothing really changed.  Employers will promise a lot when pressured to do so.  Sometimes those promises are realized.  Often they are not.  Either way, the relationship has changed forever.  Your boss will always remember the position you put him/her in on that fateful day.

We offer several Resignation Letters as well as discussion points when it comes to counter offers.