Which Is Most Important In Your Resume – Content or Presentation?

“I’m well qualified. I have extensive experience. Why does no one ever call me for an interview?”

I’m hearing this a lot these days, but I saw it in action recently at a job fair. Employers and Recruitment Agencies go to job fairs looking for qualified people, and qualified people go to job fairs to find jobs, so it should be a great place to match them up – but that isn’t always the case.

I watched people at the booths talk to candidates with interest, receive their resumes, glance at them, and put them away for filing; I even talked to a few of them. “Yes, she’s a great candidate,” the interviewer would say, “Excellent experience, but I doubt if she’ll get a call.” More questions elicited the observation that her Resume would get lost in the pile.

Like many aspects of twenty-first century life job-hunting is increasingly about presentation. Perhaps this is why older candidates with substantial experience are being passed over. Their Resume’s list solid achievements and experience, but employers wonder if they have the verve and willingness to learn the new media so that they can contribute and compete. In a world of headlines, tweets, video blogs and other technologies that focus on the brief and startling, the conventional resume is at a disadvantage.

A friend of mine conducted an experiment for me. Chrystal had formal qualifications, some experience, and was doing well at her job, but was interested in moving on. We went to a job fair in Minneapolis with two versions of her resume – her original resume and a revamped version which she was worried was ‘too flashy’ and not informative enough – and she went around the booths talking to people, and passing out one version of her Resume. In each case the original version was well-received and politely set aside, but the new version received enthusiastic responses each time she handed it over, and ultimately each of the interview calls she received came from the new version.

You may think, with Chrystal, that an eye-grabbing resume might work for creative positions, but surely not for professions like accounting or management, but the reality seems to be that it does work.

What are some of the techniques that can make your resume stand out? Graphics, Testimonials, and highlighting skills rather than qualifications. If your old resume is not bringing in calls for an interview, why not try redesigning it to include some logos and quotes today?

Tips for Presenting With Authority

It is not unusual to feel vulnerable about standing up to speak. The trick to delivering a successful speech or presentation is to create a perception of confidence to make your audience feel that you are in charge (irrespective of how you are actually feeling at the time).

Take your time
Think about the most powerful or influential speakers you’ve heard. As a general rule they will speak very slowly. This is actually very easy, and a great trick to earn yourself the confidence of the room. Barrack Obama speaks very slowly, and very clearly. His audience knows that he doesn’t need to rush; that he’s in control of the situation, and taking it at his own pace. Not only does it make the process of public speaking easier, it also simply sounds more controlled. And it’s easier to take-in what he’s saying.

Use your hands
Moving them doesn’t just help illustrate your point. It also helps release nervous energy, enabling you to speak more confidently.

Print your speech or presentation onto cue cards
Partly, this is useful for the simple reason that a cue card is smaller than a sheet of A4. However, actually the biggest thing you gain from having cue cards is the confidence they inspire in both you and your audience. From the audience’s perspective, you have clearly prepared for the speech you are giving; you have approached it in a professional way, and seemingly have done this before. From your own perspective, having the cards there at all will remind you that you are equipped to deliver this speech. Psychologically, this puts the ball in your court.

Hold your cue cards at about chest level and about half a foot in front of you
This way, when you look up at the audience, your speech will still be in your eye-line. You should not be presenting something purely by looking down at a piece of paper. Look up. Make sure the audience know that they’re your focal point; that they’re what’s important to you. When you watch a speech by somebody doing nothing more than looking down and reading from their notes, you can’t help but think they may as well just hand the piece of paper out and request half an hour’s silence for everybody to get up to speed. The reason they are watching a person, rather than reading a sheet of paper, is because they want someone to talk to them, to engage with them; someone in whom they can have confidence.

Glance, don’t read
You don’t have to know it word for word, but you certainly should only be presenting something to a room full of people, if you’ve practiced it beforehand. Speaking slowly enough to give you time to glance down at your notes between sound-bites will make a huge difference.

Smile
You may be shaking during the speech; you may even be terrified. However, what you must not be is miserable. Or, at least, you mustn’t look it. A frowning speaker is a reluctant speaker; someone out of their depths, perhaps. Nothing gets you the respect of a room like standing in front of 50, 60, 100 people and simply smiling back at them. Socially, it shows the audience that they’re in for a good time. Professionally, it shows you’ve got all the answers. Put it this way, if you were looking to buy a fridge-freezer from two men; one of whom was smiling and the other of whom was crying, who would get your business?

Perform a little
Pick relevant people to look in the eyes. If you’re talking about the company director, and he’s in the room, then look at him! You don’t need to bound round the stage, yelping, to get people’s attention. But you also won’t be interesting to watch simply standing still. These little touches can make the difference between a good presentation and a great one.

I hope you find these tips useful. Please call me on +44 20 8245 8999 if you would like help preparing for your next speech or presentation.

10 Tips For Total Immersion In Presentation Skills Training

How can you get the most out of presentation skills training? Take a total immersion approach. Discover the 10 most important ways to get all the benefits of targeted training without leaving your home.

For years, professionals have relied on their organizations to provide presentation skills training. Unfortunately, with education costs cut, training budgets slashed, and corporations on the look out for doing more with less, all that’s changed.

What is the best way to get exceptional results, without waiting for your company to put presentation skills training back on the calendar?

Use these 10 tips to create a fully engaging learning experience-from your home, office, or even on the road.

Online presentation training is energizing and motivating. Here are 10 tips for creating a total immersion experience for learning critical presentation skills.

1. Create Your Learning Room
Organize your learning room at home, office or from your hotel room. Wherever you are, set the zone for maximum focus. Turn off the television. Turn on fun music if you like learning with music. Set a time aside where you will not be interrupted. This is your room…and your time to learn.

2. Do It Your Way
Learning is the most fun when it matches you. If you love watching video, watch video tutorials first. If you like reading, jump into the training guides and manuals. If you prefer to use blueprints, start there. Do things your way. You’re in charge of your own learning experience.

3. Honor Your Time
Learning new skills is important. Consider this time as sacred and valuable. Make an appointment with yourself and keep it. Just like a solid commitment to show up to a formal class, keep your time free of other distractions or obligations.

4. Enjoy Wins
Try out your new skills right away. One of the most fun and rewarding parts of learning presentation skills online is that you can use what you learn. Use new tips right away. Try out a technique-even if it is the weekend. Present an idea to a friend. Try out a new tip with your neighbors. In a short time, you’ll see that it’s fun and very rewarding to use new skills right away.

5. Keep A Journal
In interviewing professional presenters, one of the most common practices of experts is keeping a journal. Well, you don’t have to wait until you have been presenting for years. Start today.

Record what you are learning. Track what you are experimenting with. Write down ideas, inspirations and special quotes. In no time, you’ll have a valuable resource to use whenever you need to brush up your skills.

6. Connect To Real World
Experts who create online presentation trainings want you to learn real-world skills. If you were sitting side by side with your trainer, they would show you how to connect skills to real world events. But since you are learning remotely, you need to make these linkages.

A quick way to do this is to list your key projects in advance. As you learn new skills and techniques, review your list. Where could you practice a new skill? Keep asking this question and you’ll make important connections that solve real-world problems.

7. Score Yourself
It’s fun to score your skills. Use self-scoring quizzes to keep your energy up. Test yourself at different times such as before and after an important presentation. You’ll discover that your skills grow rapidly…just by keeping the questions top of mind.

8. Follow Your Own Pace
When you’re in a classroom or workshop, you have to go at the pace of the instructor or other students. But when you’re in a virtual class, you set the pace. This is one of the top reasons why people learn faster, learn more, and have more fun learning remotely.

There’s nothing and no one holding you back.

9. Use Your Intuition
In addition to going at your own pace, you also are free to choose. Start anywhere. Go anywhere next. Use your intuition. Focus on areas that are most important to you.

Some people like to start at the beginning and go logically from a to z. Others prefer to jump around and get an overview first. It’s entirely up to you. Use your intuition and enjoy the freedom of being in charge of your own curriculum.

10. Stretch Your Skills
For total immersion, keep testing your own limits. Are you testing and challenging yourself? Are you learning new skills and applying them to ever-increasing challenges? Stretch yourself and enjoy the rewards.